by Quaye Dydasco
It’s no surprise to anyone that the world is ever changing; the rules of society are evolving and the planet is taking its turn for the worst. However, just because smoky air, paper straws, and memes have become the norm, it doesn’t mean that’s how it’s always been. To assume that the past must be rewritten simply because times have changed is, first of all, impossible, and second of all, ignorant.
Two holiday songs have sparked a plethora of criticism in the past two years with the rise of the #metoo movement. These two songs include “Baby It’s Cold Outside” and “Santa Baby”. This backlash on the two songs – that have been around for decades, caused enough controversy in the last two years to be removed from certain radio stations including San Francisco’s 96.5 KOIT and and KOSI 101.1 in Colorado. Much of the opposers of the two songs are those who take into consideration the #metoo movement of sexual assault survivors and find the lyrics to counter the the evolvement of the 21st century.
The #metoo movement has made headlines for the past two years: coined originally by Tarana Burke to bring sexual assault survivors together, and popularized by the Harvey Weinstein case and the Lawrence G. Nassar case. Both of these incidents led hundreds of women to come forward and that snowballed into thousands making their voices heard throughout social media and protests.
As a woman, I feel proud to live in a world where women’s voices are heard and that social standards are being changed. The #metoo movement spreads awareness over issues that were ignored and suppressed for centuries and now thanks to the strength of these women, people like me were able to speak out.
We can’t pretend that the past didn’t happen though. From the writer and philosopher, George Santayana, “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.” “Baby It’s Cold Outside” came out in 1944 where men and women obtained stricter gender roles than they do now. For women, the social norms kept them in the house having children and out of the workforce. Back then, it was more socially acceptable for women to be conservative in the sense that they weren’t allowed to be out late and any type of outward sexuality was deemed as provocative.
Gratefully, we live in a different world now, where women can speak freely and can wear whatever they’d like (for the most part… time for you to leave sexist school dress codes). That’s the beauty of evolvement. It’s incredible the strides U.S. society has made to create a more acceptable environment for women, African-Americans, the LGBTQ community, and so, so many more.
In the end, “Baby It’s Cold Outside” is a song about a man trying to convince a woman to stay and some lyrics may be controversial now, so if you don’t like them, at least appreciate the movement the 21st century has made to combat them. Same goes for “Santa Baby”, it’s about a woman embracing her sexuality, but if it’s obscure and too “sexualizing of women” to you, realize that it was made in the ‘50s and do some research!
Overall, please stop getting your tinsels in a twist and just let me enjoy my holiday playlist without you chiming in with some flaccid opinion you heard from a man on the radio. And next time, before you come for my favorite Christmas songs, you should delete your racist and homophobic tweets from 2011.
Scene from Neptune’s Daughter, of which the song originates. (Photo Courtesy of Youtube)